Committee, Federation and National Societies
The Movement is guided by the same seven Fundamental Principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
Likewise, all Red Cross and Red Crescent activities have a central purpose -- to help those who suffer without discrimination and thus contribute to peace in the world.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It directs and coordinates the international relief activities conducted by the Movement in situations of conflict. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies works on the basis of the Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to inspire, facilitate and promote all humanitarian activities carried out by its member National Societies to improve the situation of the most vulnerable people. Founded in 1919, the Federation directs and coordinates international assistance of the Movement to victims of natural and technological disasters, to refugees and in health emergencies. It acts as the official representative of its member Societies in the international field. It promotes cooperation between National Societies, and works to strengthen their capacity to carry out effective disaster preparedness, health and social programmes.
NATIONAL RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES embody the work and principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in 176 countries. National Societies act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of their own countries in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programmes. During wartime, National Societies assist the affected civilian population and support the army medical services where appropriate.
The ICRC, the Federation and the National Societies are independent bodies. Each has its own individual status and exercises no authority over the others.
The bodies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (International Red Cross) are:
- the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent;
- the Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement;
- the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT includes delegations from:
- the National Societies; the ICRC; the Federation; States Parties to the Geneva Conventions, at present numbering 188. Normally it is held every four years.
Each of these delegations shall have a single vote.
THE COUNCIL OF DELEGATES includes delegations from:
- the National Societies; the ICRC; the International Federation. The Council of Delegates is the meeting of the components of the Movement. It meets on the occasion of each International Conference and, in principle, on the occasion of each General Assembly of the Federation.
THE STANDING COMMISSION OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT consists of nine members:
- five members elected by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent; two representatives from the ICRC, one of whom shall be the President;
two representatives from the International Federation, one of whom shall be the President. In general it meets every six months.
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